Several studies have successfully detected hepatocarcinogenicity in rats based on gene expression data. However, prediction of hepatocarcinogens with certain mechanisms of action (MOAs), such as enzyme inducers and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) agonists, can prove difficult using a single model and requires a highly toxic dose. Here, we constructed a model for detecting non-genotoxic (NGTX) hepatocarcinogens and predicted their MOAs in rats. Gene expression data deposited in the Open Toxicogenomics Project-Genomics Assisted Toxicity Evaluation System (TG-GATEs) was used to investigate gene marker sets. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to discriminate different MOAs, and a support vector machine algorithm was applied to construct the prediction model. This approach identified 106 probe sets as gene marker sets for PCA and enabled the prediction model to be constructed. In PCA, NGTX hepatocarcinogens were classified as follows based on their MOAs: cytotoxicants, PPARα agonists, or enzyme inducers. The prediction model detected hepatocarcinogenicity with an accuracy of more than 90% in 14- and 28-day repeated-dose studies. In addition, the doses capable of predicting NGTX hepatocarcinogenicity were close to those required in rat carcinogenicity assays. In conclusion, our PCA and prediction model using gene marker sets will help assess the risk of hepatocarcinogenicity in humans based on MOAs and reduce the number of two-year rodent bioassays.
2016 The Japanese Society of Toxicology